69. What’s In That Fridge, Yo?

Haven’t you ever had one of those nights where you’re just like, yo, what the fuck do my friends keep in their fridges? What do strangers keep in their fridges? What do I keep in my fridge?

:some pretentious bitch on the internet has mostly french words in his fridge:

Well, friends, now all fridge-content related questions can be answered at the rectangular and innovative blog What’s In That Fridge.

Here’s the idea. It involves rectangular photos:

:four whole sides, four whole right angles:

Of people’s rectangular fridges:

:two pairs of parallel sides:

And sometimes rectangular shit that’s in them:

:this dude seems to eat only rectangles:

Followed by a classification of all items. So – for example, in Sasha’s fridge:

:what's in it, yo?:

Fridge Contents:

  • PBR
  • soy milk
  • Brita
  • donuts
  • chocolate covered espresso beans
  • half drunk diet coke
  • expired organic boxed soup
  • coffee
  • nail polish

Magical! Brilliant! Everything I ever wanted to know, right here on one page.

December 20, 2009. Food, Rectangles, Websites. 1 comment.

68. Tetris and PTSD

:familiar?:

Tetris is a game we all (should) know and love. It’s fun as shit and frustrating as fuck. But apparently, according to the latest issue of the Economist, it is also useful in treating PTSD. I don’t know how to write about it better than the writers for the Economist, so I’ll quote liberally from this really cool article.

“This year,” the article says, “a group of British scientists suggested a [simple] therapy: playing the video game Tetris.”

:where is that green block gonna go?:

“In an experiment, the scientists had 40 adults watch a 12 minute film filled with graphic scenes of traffic accidents, surgeries and a drowning – material that often produces mild flashbacks even when viewed only in a movie. Half an hour after the film, half the participants were asked to sit quietly for 10 minutes and the other half were asked to play Tetris for 10 minutes…The group that played Tetris fared far better – experiencing 42% fewer flashbacks over one week.

“The scientists suspect the Tetris vaccine works because flashbacks are registered primarily as visual memories. By playing Tetris right after a trauma, the visual cortex becomes so busy that the brain doesn’t encode the horrific visual imagery in the way that it otherwise might…And Tetris is non-verbal, so it doesn’t impinge upon other crucial work the brain does to help make sense of – and cope with – a traumatic episode.”

:sweet tetris art:

Tetris isn’t yet confirmed as an effective therapy, but hey – let’s get all those soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan Gameboys for Christmas.

Another blogger’s comments here.

December 13, 2009. Art, Periodicals, Rectangles, Science, Websites. 1 comment.

67. “Invisibilia”

:"invisible tube":

This is a cool art website that I stumbled upon. I think the idea is fascinating – take one person out of a photo and leave only their outlines.

:"invisible tramp":

My favorites are the ones with real people in them. I think it makes the fully-realized humans pop with a surreal glow.

:"invisible kiss":

:"invisible soldier":

Here’s a tutorial, offered by the artist, if you want to try it at home.

:"invisible zeidie:"

:"invisible sleep":

December 13, 2009. Art, Rectangles, Websites. Leave a comment.

66. Audrey and Cooper

Once upon a time I had a friend named Javier who owned a coffeeshop in DC.

:this is javs:

Javier got some bunnies named Audrey and Cooper. I never met them, but I did buy them chairs and sew them some throw pillows.

:hand sewn rectanglular treasures:

And so:

Buns and Rectangles

photos by Javier Rivas


:try to count the rectangles in each one:

:bunz don't count:

:but carpets do:

:and the bunnies are cute:

Brilliant, Javs. You’re really talented at rabbit portraits. Maybe if the coffeeshop gig gets old…

December 12, 2009. Animals, Rectangles. Leave a comment.

65. “The Tigers Have Spoken” by Neko Case

As my friends know, when I like something – I really like it. Once it was Allpoetry.com, a site featuring terrible poetry by terrible poets. I posted poems that were as bad as I could write and people told me they loved the imagery. I would comment on the worst of the worst and tell the authors they had a career in poetry. I read really bad poems aloud to my friends, laughing hysterically the whole time. I was obsessed with it for at least a month.

Right now, it’s The Tigers Have Spoken, a live album by Neko Case.  I listen to it over and over and over. It’s been a week and I haven’t listened to anything else. And it’s been a diverse week, too – rainy days, sunny days, days of paper writing. The tigers have spoken eloquently to me in every situation (sorry, sorry, I know).

:and the cover art is cool:

Neko Case, of the New Pornographers, always meant indie-rock to me. My heart lies more with Americana, so I was never a huge fan. But this album is folky, country-y, and even kinda rockin’. Case covers Loretta Lynn’s Rated X (absolutely fantastic), a Buffy Sainte-Marie song (Soulful Shade of Blue) and a smattering of good ol’ American folk standards. Case’s voice lends itself beautifully to country music. I was pleasantly surprised to hear such musicality from a New Pornographer.

Her covers really stand out. Rated X is unbelievable and has been in my head all week. Soulful Shade of Blue is also fantastic. Country legends should be proud to hear such covers of their songs. I imagine that a lot of these covers are boring as shit, but Case is clearly having a lot of fun – and her voice has SOUL, man. Case’s own songs are also really good. The first song, If You Knew, is a perfectly bitter way to start the album. Favorite is a bit country. It features a great banjo, which of course endears me to the song.

Speaking of the banjo. I absolutely love the banjo on this album. It’s used exactly as the banjo should be used – as a pure and simple enhancement to a great song. It’s mostly Scruggs-style picking, and I LOVE IT. I love it. Any album with good banjo is an A+ in my book. Unfortunately, it’s not played by Neko. But Wayfaring Stranger features some great walking banjo pickin’ and also a crowd sing-along – another tug on my folk-strung heart.

:bad. ass.:

Overall, the album is great. It’s not too soft and gentle – it’s kinda rockin’ most of the time. Like good ol’ country and honky tonk. Loretta Lynn obviously influenced Case a lot on this album. There’s also a lot of beauty and the right amount of gentility when it’s called for. With catchy tunes, fantastic pipes, and a banjo, Case hits it out of the park on this one.

:and she's a redhead, too. i am in love.:

December 3, 2009. Music, Rectangles, Websites. 1 comment.

64. Zippo Lighters

Once upon a time, I bought a gold(ish) Zippo lighter at a yard sale.

:looks like dis:

It was brand (old)new, with an unused wick and a perfect flint. However, I never bought the Zippo fluid, so I never used it.

Then, a week ago, my brother Sam found a Zippo on the ground. He doesn’t smoke, but it’s cool, so he kept it. He also bought Zippo fluid and helped me fill mine up.

:even the lighter fluid comes in a rectangle:

Now I have a sick ass Zippo lighter! It makes me feel such a lady.

The Zippo lighter, manufactured in Bradford, PA, has been an essential part of American culture since 1932.

:zippo founder/badass george g. blaisdell:

It has been made in lots of shapes and sizes:

:ew.:

:not a rectangle. also ew.:

But the classic, classy rectangle has really stood the test of time.

:so true, zippo:

Initially popularized by the US military, Zippo’s are loved by many because they are “windproof.”

:badass:

How are they made, and how do they work? Let’s ask Wikipedia!

“The cases of Zippo lighters are typically made of metal and are rectangular with a hinged top.

Inside the case are the works of the lighter: the spring-toggle lever that keeps the top closed, the wick, windscreen chimney, thumbwheel, and flint, all of which are mounted on an open-bottom metal box that is slightly smaller than the bottom of the outer case, and into which it slips snugly.

The hollow part of the interior box encloses a rayon batt which is in contact with the wick. The fuel, which is usually naphtha but can be any flammable and volatile liquid (e.g. denatured alcohol, mineral spirits), is poured into the batt, which traps it. It also contains a tube that holds a short, cylindrical flint. The tube has an interior spring and exterior cap-screw that keeps the flint in constant contact with the exterior thumb-wheel. Spinning this rough-surfaced wheel against flint results in a spark that ignites the fluid in the wick.

The batt once had a small hole in the bottom to facilitate easier refueling. It was often used as a place to store extra flints. Newer models do not always have the hole, and instead have a flap in the bottom of the batt (with the hinge on one of the short edges). The words “LIFT TO FILL” are stamped in black ink multiple times on the bottom, with the intention being that the user should lift the flap and squirt the fuel in to the batt material under the flap.

All parts of the lighter are replaceable. In all there are 22 parts, and the Zippo lighter requires 108 manufacturing operations.”

:transformers zippos:

:does this even need a caption?:

Wikipedia also tells me this, which I’m just gonna quote, because it’s really cool.

“From mid-1955 Zippo started year coding their lighters by the use of dots (.). From 1966 until 1973 the year code was denoted by combinations ofvertical lines (|). From 1974 until 1981 the coding comprised combinations of forward slashes (/), and from 1982 until June 1986 the coding was by backslash (\).

In July 1986, Zippo began including a lot code on all lighters showing the month and year of production. On the left of the underside was stamped a letter A–L, denoting the month (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc). On the right was a Roman numeral which denoted the year, beginning with II in 1986. Thus a Zippo stamped H IX was made in August, 1993. However in 2001, Zippo altered this system, changing the Roman numerals to more conventional Arabic numerals. Thus a Zippo made in August 2004 was stamped H 04. There was a myth that Zippo lighters were made by prisoners, and the number identified the prisoner, or their crime and sentence length. Another myth was that a Zippo stamped ‘H’ was inferior to one stamped ‘A’.”

:just fifty cents:

Mine says A 04 – so I’m thinking that a criminal made it real nice during his (or her) fourth year of time served. Sweet, yo!

:it's true, man. so true:

December 1, 2009. Culture, Fashion, History, Rectangles, Science. 13 comments.

63. Squares

Dear readers,

You might think this one is a no-brainer. Squares are rectangles. But a lot of people have trouble remembering this simple rule:

Squares are always rectangles

BUT

Rectangles are not always squares.

So, let’s start from the beginning.

What is a rectangle?

A rectangle is a quadrilateral, which means it has four sides.

:four sides - first step to being a rectangle:

But beware! Not all quadrilaterals are rectangles.

:not a rectangle or a square:

A rectangle is a parallelogram, which means it’s made up of two pairs of parallel lines.

:two pairs of parallel sides - step two to being a rectangle:

But once again, you can be tricked here – since not all parallelograms are rectangles!

:not a rectangle:

A rectangle also has four, and only four, 90 degree angles.

:rectangle!:

And that’s it!

A square has all of those things:

Four sides

Parallel lines

90 degree angles

BUT

To be a square, all four sides must be the same length.

:square - it fits all requirements to be a rectangle, plus extra bonus criteria:

Therefore,

A square is always a rectangle

BUT

A rectangle is not always a square.

Lesson learned.

December 1, 2009. Rectangles. Leave a comment.